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Amazon Boards BBC Drama ‘A Very English Scandal’

Amazon has taken U.S. rights on upcoming BBC drama “A Very English Scandal.” The three-part drama, which stars Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, tells the story of disgraced British politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Grant stars as Thorpe, who, in 1979, as leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, was accused of conspiring to murder his ex-lover, Norman Scott (Whishaw). He was the first British politician in modern times to stand trial for murder.

“A Very English Scandal” is based on a book by British journalist John Preston and written by Russell T. Davies, who created the modern iteration of “Doctor Who” in 2005 and more recently created gay-oriented shows “Cucumber” and “Banana,” for Channel 4 and E4, respectively. The show is directed by Stephen Frears. It will air on BBC One in the U.K. and Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. in 2018.

Grant last worked with Frears on last year’s “Florence Foster Jenkins,” for which he was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA awards as best supporting actor. “A Very English Scandal” marks the actor’s return to British television for the first time in nearly 25 years, when he starred in “The Changeling,” an episode of the BBC’s anthology drama series “Performance,” opposite Elizabeth McGovern and Bob Hoskins.

The cast of “A Very English Scandal” has now added Alex Jennings, Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan, Adrian Scarborough and Jason Watkins. Eve Myles, Michele Dotrice, Blake Harrison, Fisayo Akinade, David Bamber, Patrick Barlow, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Paul Hilton, Jonathan Hyde, Alice Orr-Ewing, Steffan Rhodri, Paul Freeman and Susan Wooldridge also star.

Filming on the series, which is the first production from Sony-backed Blueprint Television, has begun in the U.K. Sony Pictures Television is handling distribution on the drama.

Blueprint Television is sister company to Blueprint Pictures, which produced “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and Martin McDonagh’s Toronto winner “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” It is headed by Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and former “EastEnders” executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, who all serve as executive producers on “A Very English Scandal.”

Lucy Richer serves as executive producer for the BBC. Dan Winch, who recently produced the episode “Human Is,” starring Bryan Cranston, of anthology series “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams,” is producer. “A Very English Scandal” was commissioned for the BBC by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.

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